World Sustainable Transport Day Date in the current year: November 26, 2024

World Sustainable Transport Day World Sustainable Transport Day is a United Nations international observance held annually on November 26. It was inaugurated by the General Assembly in May 2023 to recognize the important role of safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems in improving social welfare and promoting sustainable economic growth.

The concept of sustainability began to emerge in the 1980s; it can be defined as a social goal for humanity to coexist in equilibrium with the environment for a long time. In everyday use, sustainability is primarily associated with mitigating the effects of global environmental problems, including air and water pollution, climate change, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity.

Anyone can contribute to achieving sustainability. One of the ways individuals can change their lifestyles to be more sustainable is to use sustainable transport. The term sustainable transport refers to ways of transportation that are sustainable in terms of their environmental and social impact. The sustainability of a way of transport is evaluated based on the particular vehicles and infrastructure used to accommodate the transport, as well as the source of energy.

The environmental effects of transport stem from energy consumption. Transportation systems are major users of energy, and most of this energy comes from petroleum. The burning of petroleum creates air pollution and significantly contributes to global warming. The largest contributor to global warming and thus the least sustainable mode of transportation is road transport (cars and trucks).

The main ways to reduce the negative environmental impacts of transport and make it more sustainable include reducing the weight of vehicles and friction of tires, encourage sustainable driving habits (taking the shortest route, avoiding speeding etc.), promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, and encouraging alternative transportation options (walking, public transportation, carpooling and ridesharing, biking, etc.). Of course, the last point isn’t just about individual habits. To encourage people to reduce the use of personal vehicles for transportation, cities should improve their public transportation systems, as well as their cycling and walking environments.

And this brings us to the social aspect of sustainable transport. The prevalence of personal vehicles as a primary method of transportation in some cities has been linked to social isolation of the young, the elderly, and others who cannot drive, death of street life, higher rates of automobile accidents, an increase in sedentary lifestyles, and employment barriers in low-income neighborhoods.

The United Nations General Assembly designated November 26 as World Sustainable Transport Day to recognize the role of sustainable transport in providing services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods while minimizing environmental impacts. The observance is meant to unite stakeholders around the globe in their efforts to build sustainable transportation systems, as well as to encourage individuals to make more sustainable choices when it comes to choosing the mode of transportation in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

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